Monday, September 12, 2011

Missional Budgets & Resources

Last week, as a result of the holiday, I took a holiday from posting. Welcome back, stewardship folks!

Creating a Missional Budget:
Every church and nonprofit has a budget indicating the amount of money that will be spent in a particular ministry area. $2,500 for Youth Ministry. $4,000 for Hospitality. Often, congregations hand out copies of their budgets during their stewardship celebration in an attempt at transparency and with the hope of building support for ministries. But what do these numbers mean? And further, how do we expect people to get excited about numbers on a page? This is where the Missional Budget comes in.

Missional Budgets tell the story of your ministry. They include dollar amounts, but they also explain what is done with the dollars. When people understand what they are giving to, they are more likely to give. In addition, missional budgets create deeper transparency and give ministry teams the opportunity to share with the congregation their goals for the future. SHOW members what COULD happen if they gave more.

Our congregation breaks up our missional budget by ministry team. There are 7 teams (worship, outreach, support, buildings & grounds, media, hospitality, nurture). We include the budget amount for the team plus 1/7th of the total salaries (for example, the nurture budget includes its $3,700 budget amount, plus 1/7th of the salary for the pastors, secretary, etc.) I'm sure there are different formulas you could use based on job descriptions. The point is to tell your congregation's story through the budget.

Here are two examples from our Missional Budget.

Worship Ministries

“The first time I worshiped at Holy Trinity, I told my husband ‘we have finally found a church home.’ Everyone was friendly and the service was easy to follow.”

Holy Trinity’s mission, to Gather God’s People, Grow in Faith, and Go in Service begins with Sunday worship and midweek worship during the summer. Worship is the first impression visitors have of our church and is a place for all of us to gather around the Lord’s Table. Our choir shares the gift of music weekly, while our Praise Team leads us in worship monthly, and during Vacation Bible School. Over the next year our pastors are working to offer worship and educational programs on Wednesday evenings during the fall, winter and spring. Holy Trinity will look for ways to incorporate more special vocal and instrumental music into the services. There will also be an effort to involve more children in the worship service including music by the Sunday School students and possibly through the use of tone chimes for festival services. There will also be a Sunday service in which a teaching format will be utilized to explain the meaning and history of each element of the worship service. To help participants better understand our service, the bulletin will include educational information about the service in the margins. Mission Total: $44,702

Expanded Mission: (What we would LIKE to do, but currently do not have funds)

The Ministry of worship has talked about the possibility of bringing in a professional guest choir or Lutheran College choir for a special community performance and Sunday service. Our choir is also interested in expanding their musical library and the recently donated piano could also use some updates, including the possibility of a trade in for a new model.

Buildings and Grounds

“We are proud of our building—it’s location, tradition, and, in the years to come, increased accessibility.”

While most people are aware that Buildings and Grounds is in charge of providing heat, air conditioning, maintenance and other utilities, many people have a difficult time seeing this ministry as a ministry. However, without proper maintenance and payment of utilities, we would have no space to gather for worship, fill 140 food baskets, provide a Christmas party for Head Start Children, gather school supplies, or conduct weddings and funerals. This ministry models stewardship of God’s earth by tending to Holy Trinity’s land and property while providing a good first impression for visitors by maintaining our lawn, trees and flower beds. The volunteer work of Buildings and Grounds have painted, cleaned and enhanced our gardens this year. If we were to hire outside contractors to do the work provided to us free of change by this group, the cost would be in the thousands of dollars. Mission Total: $73,398

Expanded Mission:

In addition to working with the Mission Task Force to assess Holy Trinity’s future building and maintenance needs, this group has begun to explore ways to convert a restroom into a handicapped accessible family restroom. This will send the message to our community that Holy Trinity is a welcoming, accessible place for all people.

Additional Resources I have found the following resources helpful in creating our stewardship celebration.

Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate by J. Clif Christopher includes practical advice on stewardship and legacy gift planning. I found the “Missional Budget” format in this book.

Enough by Adam Hamilton This series of resources is especially helpful for those of us working on stewardship during difficult economic times.

Both resources can be found on amazon and other online book sellers.

Next Week: Targeted Giving Letters

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